The following speaks for itself. It was mailed to me by someone who will remain anonymous for obvious reasons.
Microsoft has played a huge part in many of the aspects of [Asheron’s Call’s] development, contrary to popular belief. Many people feel as if Microsoft has had very little to do with the way we run things… that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
First we were just letting go some artists and taking on some news ones… then suddenly some of the programmers were leaving without replacements. Two more Microsoft guys were brought in to “oversee” things. I would later learn that they would become programmers for AC2.
And now, the time has come. Microsoft is buying Turbine Entertainment. Head Management and some of the project Leads will be saying on staff but more layoffs are planned. Microsoft apparently has been aquiring many of the studios it published. I know Ensemble was recently purchased. I always hated MS and how they operated every computer market (in one way or another) but I never thought they would get gaming.
UPDATE: Turbine responded to this one quickly with a firm “deny”. Alan Maki of Turbine was quoted by AC Stratics as saying it was “rumor and conjecture, no truth at all.”
I have to go with AC Stratics’ version of the story, since the only thing Mr. Maki had to say to me was the following:
Any chance that you can get me the address from which that was generated, as well as the IP address.
Thanks for your cooperation,
Turbine Entertainment Software
Alas for Turbine’s corporate security, that request was not honored by yours truly. One has to wonder what Asheron’s Call would be like if they went after exploiters with as much verve as news sources.